Beaming smiles amplified by the dazzling lights were noticeable first. They belonged to four musicians relishing every second of performing, their energy radiating and bouncing off each other onto us. Before Bombay Bicycle Club last February, Newcastle’s 02 Academy was packed to the rafters for the support act of The Big Moon, and the realisation that these girls would be headlining themselves soon enough, no question.
Their name spiritually paints a velvety picture and the imagery of wild-flower fields ready and waiting to be skipped through barefoot or maybe rode through on a pastel coloured bicycle, a French basket adorning the front. Their romantic sound places you in your oozy bubble with delectable harmonies surrounding the senses, and a modern-day lushness likened to the elegance of Les Fleurs by Minnie Riperton. However, this guitar band can seriously rock out in style too.
Juliette Jackson formed the band in London six years ago with Soph Nathan, Celia Archer, and Fern Ford, adding to the overall fresh appeal. Their vigour lays in tight playing and songwriting layered with masses of story and imagination, simply put, they make admirable, full tunes. In 2017, debut album Love In The 4th Dimension was recorded in a tiny period to allow instinctive flow and brought with it a Moon anthem in Cupid. Last year, LP Walking Like We Do bonded their place as the UK’s leading female Indie quartet.
There has still been a promotional need for music videos during COVID 19. However, their production needed a little attention. Some took Trampolene and Pete Doherty’s approach of phone footage edited together, while others explored animation like Everything Everything’s three tracks from the forthcoming Re-Animator. The Big Moon has revealed their attempt for new single Why directed by Jonjo Lowe and taken from Walking Like We Do.
Why appears to be the band's take on things that have become our new normal during the lockdown, including a mixture of real-life footage and animation. The location is a weird yet inviting beach, which sets the tone. Like a Zoom meeting where your carefully chosen backdrop merges onto your body, this happens in the video, but, this time they are rubbing and revealing the imagery and creating a surrealness. Tik Tok has been sweeping the world recently, and the addictive little dances that people have been obsessing over; the four artists have their take on the choreography here.
Starting with the unfussy repetitive piano that runs throughout, the song grows and layers, including their polished singing. It readily addresses the small rumblings of a relationship breakdown, but one side of the party can’t get their head around the reasoning behind it: "I know that something here is broken, and I can see it in your eyes. But I don't see why.” It is possibly the beginning of the end, which nudges it towards it a sad piece, but just not quite.
The natural exuberance from The Big Moon is invigorating. It may not have been their predominant aim, but I can't help thinking that they will inspire other ladies to pick up a guitar and feel proud of the female touch in indie-pop. The release of Why coincides with the announcement of their rescheduled autumn tour, now taking place in Spring 2021. The confidence of the girls shines, go see.
Article by Beverley Knight